Medical Research

Cannabinoids and ADHD

Written by Caleb Summeril

Survey studies provide initial evidence

The benefits of CBD are wide ranging, and ongoing research and development is leading to new breakthroughs with use of this common cannabinoid. CBD affects both physical and behavioral disorders, making the relationship between CBD and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) worth exploring.

ADHD is a common behavioral condition that affects many different types of people across age ranges. It is commonly diagnosed in childhood but symptoms and related issues can persist into adulthood. While there is no single cause, recent research indicates that ADHD may result due to interactions between environmental and genetic factors. The main symptoms associated with ADHD include a struggle to pay attention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity.

While research on cannabis as a potential treatment for ADHD is ongoing, initial studies on the potential interaction between cannabinoids and ADHD symptoms have shed light into possible benefits.

A recent study set out to examine the relationship between cannabis use and ADHD in a group of college students using an online survey. The results of this study indicated that ADHD symptoms were correlated with cannabis use but not diagnosis, and these were both influenced by depression. While these findings are inconclusive, they suggest the students may have used cannabinoids such as CBD to manage symptoms of ADHD and depression.[1]

Another survey study assessed the relationship between adult cannabis users with ADHD to see if there were any benefits or side effects. Based on the answers to survey questions, daily cannabis users with ADHD reported lower symptoms related to inattention compared to hyperactivity; this effect was not seen in nondaily users. This research indicates a correlation between cannabis use and specific ADHD symptoms for people with certain sub-types of the disorder.[2]

Clearly, additional research is required to better understand how different cannabinoids may play a role in managing different types of ADHD symptoms and how they might affect younger and older people.

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  1. Morse, M.C. et al., “Disruptive Behavior Disorder and Marijuana Use: The Role of Depressive Symptoms.” Libertus Academica. vol.9, no.1, 2016, pg. 69-76.
  2. Loflin, M., et al., “Subtypes of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Cannabis Use.” Substance Use & Misuse.4, 2014, pg. 427-434.

About the author

Caleb Summeril

Caleb Summeril writes creative copy, stories and songs from the mountains of Colorado. When not working on words, he can be found on global gallivants which fuel future endeavors. Learn more about his writing services at